We are delighted to have a guest writer, Ann Roulac. We will be featuring her once a week to provide insights into having a purpose-focused business and life.
A stressed-out group of employees can put a company at financial risk, threatening the long-term viability of the business. People who are tired, overworked, and overwhelmed cannot be counted on to make wise business decisions—let alone good personal ones.
Workplace stress has taken a toll on employee health, absenteeism, and turnover rates. According to Kaiser Permanente “health care costs are nearly 50% higher for chronically stressed employees. And stress is the single most important health risk factor in predicting workers’ compensation claim occurrence and cost.”
“There’s also a direct relationship between high levels of employee stress and a drastic decline in productivity and retention. Highly stressed workers miss more than twice as many days as their less stressed peers.4 Nearly half of U.S. employees say workplace stress has caused them to check out or stop caring — and 42% have quit a job due to stress.” –Kaiser Permanente
When employees experience high degrees of stress, overall tension in the work environment increases, mistrust and disagreements occur, productivity and creativity decrease, and new visions, concepts, and strategies are hard to create or implement. The following statistics reflect the impact that employee stress is having on businesses:
- 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress. –Everest College
- 63% of US workers are ready to quit their jobs due to stress. –Dynamic Signal
- Only 43% of US employees think their employers care about their work-life balance. –APA
- Workers say that stress and anxiety affect their work productivity and coworker relations more than any other factor. –ADAA
- Stress causes around one million workers to miss work every day. –American Institute of Stress
- Work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths and results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly. –Center for Workplace Mental Health
- 52% of Generation Z in the US have been diagnosed with mental health issues. –Everyday Health
- Americans aged 30-49 are the most stressed age group. –Gallup
- Healthcare expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress. –NIOSH
Businesses need to become much more pro-active in supporting and empowering their employees to lead healthy and productive lives. Otherwise, the combined costs of healthcare benefits, an aging workforce, and workdays lost to stress and ill health will continue to increase, dragging down profits, jeopardizing growth, and undermining productivity gains achieved elsewhere.
Corporate Wellness Programs
Recent studies of employee health suggest that policies benefiting worker health also benefit the bottom line. A healthy organization is defined as one that has low rates of illness, injury, and disability in its workforce and is also competitive in the marketplace. The RAND Corporation's analysis estimated an overall ROI of $1.50 for every dollar that the employer invested in the entire wellness program.
Corporate wellness programs that shift their focus from preventing disease to supporting wellness—mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual—and giving employees the tools to take responsibility for their own health will be the most successful. Managers need to be vigilant and aware of employees who have no central core, purpose, or guiding principles that enable them to keep on course and deal effectively with the daily challenges of the work environment. Employers can support their employees by providing them with the with the tools that give them a deeper understanding of their unique purpose, gifts, talents, and contributions.
If businesses are to remain profitable, effective, and competitive, the health and well-being of employees needs to be their number one priority. Programs that focus on teaching employees how to prioritize their life goals, create greater work and life balance, identify their strengths, and give them support to develop their careers will be the most effective.
Employees who derive greater meaning from their work are not only more engaged at work but are more likely to stay with their company. People who attribute meaning to their work are less susceptible to suffering stress-related illnesses. Engaged employees who feel powerful, energized, and decisive are the key to greater meaning and fulfillment in your job is less about what you’re doing and more about how you view what you’re doing . . . whether you perceive yourself as making a contribution to the greater whole.
Team members need to feel healthy and energized to be effective and productive. When they’re focused and on track, they consistently bring their best efforts to work. When management encourages employees to find greater meaning and purpose in their lives – to become purpose-focused - this also empowers them to be more energized and engaged on the job. If they’re stressed, or lacking a personal compass, they won’t have the energy to help you drive the success of your business.
If you'd like to learn more about Ann or her company, click here.